Current owner of Leeds United, Ken Bates has poured scorn on the amateurish reign his disasterous predecessor, Peter Satan Ridsdale, now guiding the (mis)fortunes of Cardiff Shitty.
Ken Bates has been speaking to The Times as he celebrates the end of his first year in charge at Elland Road. He was none to kind about the numpties who annihilated Leeds United plc and who almost destroyed the historic Yorkshire football club itself. Although he has injected cash into both the Elland Road stadium and Kevin Blackwell's team and the football team stand on the brink of promotion/play-offs, Ken Bates was more keen to draw unflattering parrallels between the mismanagement of the the Ridsdale reign and his own position at Chelsea before it became Chelski with the Abramovitch takeover.
"The difference between me and Ridsdale is, at Chelsea, I always assumed we would finish 10th and get knocked out of both cups in the first round. Anything else was a bonus.
"Ridsdale worked on the assumption that they would qualify for Europe every season and do well in both cups. Anything else was a disaster."
The Chelski PR machine was quite anti-Bates when the change-over finally occurred and much play was made of the financial situation Bates and Chelsea were allegedly facing before Ambramovitch "saved" them both with his Russian gold. He expalined,
"We had a £75million bond that was used to build the hotels and the best stadium in Europe.
"That was like a mortgage. The only debt was £20million and that was containable because we qualified for Europe. But we had £150million worth of assets."
Having dealt with the Chelski allegations Bates warmed to his theme of giving Ridsdale's tatttered reputation a further good kicking.
"The two hotels were worth £50million. We spent money on assets, not like bloody Ridsdale, who spent it on players."
Aah, "bloody Ridsdale" at last an epithet for the chubby, self-serving, fart that I agree with; unlike his chums in the Insolvency Service and the Stock Exchange who could find nothing wrong with his mismanagement! (So why is my Leeds Sporting/Leeds United plc shareholding worthless and which grubby businessman had both hands on the ship's tiller [as both Chairman AND managing Director] when it hit the rocks?)
Surprisingly, as Mr Bates obviously enjoyed laying about him with his verbal broadsword, one of the few hitherto heroes to come out of the debacle of Leeds Sporting plc's final days also received a few wacks! Trevor Birch was brought in to stave off administration, which he succcessfully achieved. However, Ken was withering when he said,
"I don't know what he did when he was here because he certainly didn't tackle the underlying problem," Bates continued. "He kept things going, which as an insolvency expert was his forte, but he was well paid. He got £500,000 out of it."
Frankly Ken, many of those charged with the saving of Leeds United plc did very well financially out of the chaos. The buckets that should have been filled with water to put out the numerous financial fires at the club were instead being filled with cash going the other way, out of the club! The final year at Leeds United plc is a seedy list of consultancy payments - often paid up front to avoid them joining the list of small creditors who, like the shareholding fans would be shafted when the final nails were put in the coffin; payments into Directors' pension funds and termination payments to the incompetent fools who had brought the PLC to its knees in the first place! The ordinary hard-working Leeds fan struggling to pay ticket prices to watch rubbish could only stand agast and watch with horror, dismay and distaste as all the "professional" looters ran around desperately trying to milk the club's overdraft for every last fee, charge and expense they could come up with. So it is perhaps a little unfair just to take a swipe at Mr Birch's fees alone.
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